ArmInfo. Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan received a delegation led by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Managing Director for Eastern Europe and Caucasus Francis Malige.
The press office of the Armenian Government reports that Karapetyan praised the cooperation with the EBRD, the effectiveness of which is clearly evidenced by the following figures: the RA-EBRD cooperation portfolio is comprised of 153 programs, of which 56 in process, with a total investment of EUR 1 billion contributed by the EBRD.
Highly appreciative of EBRD-supported projects in both private and public sectors (solid waste management, improvement of water supply, modernization of border checkpoints, etc.), Prime Minister Karapetyan particularly welcomed the fact that 83% of Armenia's current portfolio (? 305 million) accounted for the direct financing of the private sector. As to the development of financial markets, Karen Karapetyan prioritized the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in March, 2016 between the EBRD on the one hand, and the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Armenia, on the other.
Thankful for the words of high appreciation, Francis Malige emphasized that the Bank is keen to expand cooperation with Armenia and step up the amount of investment consistently. Welcoming the Government's initiative to establish a center for strategic initiatives in Armenia, as well as the efforts aimed at improving the business climate and providing a competitive field, he noted that the EBRD is ready to work closely with the Center on the joint projects, as well as to be useful to the Government in engineering a favorable competitive field.
Coming to the priorities of bilateral cooperation, Mr Malige reaffirmed the Bank's readiness to proceed from the Government's priorities in structuring the cooperation with our country in the three main areas outlined in the strategy for Armenia, which was approved in 2015, namely enhancement of private sector competitiveness, development of local capital market and formation of a self-sufficient market for public services. As they discussed the prospects of bilateral cooperation, the parties touched upon the energy sector, looked at ways of amending the legal framework for public-private sector partnership, improving the business environment, setting up investment funds and so on.
Mr Malige also welcomed the introduction of the Extracting Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Armenia and the willingness to submit an EITI candidacy application in 2017. Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan said his government is open and ready for cooperation in all possible areas. The Premier instructed the heads of the agencies concerned to discuss with the Bank's representatives the details of the ongoing and projected joint programs.